Julia Forrest

Julia Forrest

Julia Forrest is a contributor to the Michigan Advance. She has been covering Michigan and national politics for two years at the Michigan Daily and OpenSecrets. She studies public policy at the University of Michigan.

Senate unanimously passes bill banning redistricting commission from closed meetings 

By: - December 2, 2021

The Michigan Senate passed a bill Thursday aiming to prevent the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) from convening behind closed doors.  Senate Bill 728, introduced by Michigan Senate Oversight Committee Chair Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan), bars the MICRC from meeting in closed session “for any purpose.” The bill passed in the Senate unanimously, 34-0.  The […]

Kevin Rinke announces bid for Michigan governor, joins crowded GOP field

By: - November 22, 2021

Kevin Rinke, a Bloomfield Township businessman, on Monday officially announced his candidacy for governor in a press release. The Republican is a former owner of Rinke Automotive Group, which owns car dealerships around Detroit.  The announcement for his 2022 bid comes after Rinke launched a $226,000 cable and broadcast TV ad buy late last week. […]

Whitmer announces at-home COVID test kit pilot program for students and school staff 

By: - November 19, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced a new pilot program Thursday to equip students in some schools with at-home COVID-19 tests as Michigan heads into the holidays and currently tops states for the most cases in the last week.  The program, MI Backpack Home Tests, is an […]

Nessel, AGs end lawsuit after Labor Dept. drops rule limiting service worker wages

By: - November 19, 2021

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, alongside eight other attorneys general, on Thursday dropped a lawsuit challenging a Trump-era U.S. Department of Labor rule for service workers.  The group of attorneys general had originally presented a legal challenge to a proposal that would have removed the “80/20” rule that ensured tipped workers are spending 80% of […]

Biden toasts new infrastructure law at GM electric vehicle plant opening in Detroit

By: - November 17, 2021

President Joe Biden traveled to Detroit Wednesday to tout the new $1.2 trillion infrastructure package he signed into law on Monday while helping to celebrate the opening of General Motors new electric vehicle assembly plant.  The Democrat was given a tour of the Factory ZERO Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center along with the chance to take an […]

Half of those in jail can’t afford bail, but bipartisan bills aim to fix that

By: - November 17, 2021

Half of Michiganders sitting in jail are there because they cannot afford bail, not because they have been convicted of a crime, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP).  But a bipartisan package of bail reform bills making their way through the Michigan House of Representatives could fix […]

GOP-led petition could cause half of Michigan’s counties to lose polling places, study says

By: - November 10, 2021

Hundreds of Michigan cities and townships are at risk of losing all or a few of their polling places if a provision within the controversial, Republican-led “Secure MI Vote” petition was enacted, according to a new report from Progress Michigan. The Progress Michigan report, released on Wednesday, explored the provision in the Secure MI Vote […]

As Michigan election officials face threats, pols push for legislation to protect them

By: - November 8, 2021

At a U.S. Senate hearing last week, Al Schmidt, a Republican election official from Philadelphia, called the threats made to murder him and his family, “domestic terrorism.” His story is one of many election workers across the nation facing threats and harassment for their roles in the 2020 election—threats that have also been prevalent in […]

House passes bills shedding light on some sexual harassment settlements

By: - November 4, 2021

The Michigan House of Representatives passed two bills on Wednesday that would make publicly available any future sexual harassment or sexual assault settlements entered into after claims are brought against a state lawmaker or top Michigan official.  HB 4920, introduced by Rep. Steven Johnson (R-Wayland) in May, would mandate public disclosure of certain reports regarding […]

About 825K Michigan kids aged 5 to 11 can now get the COVID vaccine 

By: - November 3, 2021

Updated, 6:43 a.m., 11/4/21 About 825,000 kids aged 5 to 11 in Michigan are now eligible to receive free Pfizer vaccine to help halt the spread of COVID-19 after emergency use was authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and recommended Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on […]

MSP investigate missing voting equipment after QAnon-posting clerk stripped of duties

By: - November 1, 2021

The Michigan State Police last week opened a criminal investigation to find out if a part of a voting machine that had previously gone missing was tampered with in a South-Central Michigan municipality.  The Michigan Bureau of Elections on Oct. 25 stripped Stephanie Scott, the GOP Adams Township clerk, of her election administration authority, stating […]

GOP gov. hopeful says he’ll get rid of Dept. of Education, attacks vaccine mandates

By: - October 30, 2021

GOP gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley told a crowd of supporters earlier this month that he would “happily and enthusiastically” get rid of the state Department of Education and proclaimed the government should have no authority to issue a vaccine mandate. Kelley, also an Allendale Township planning commissioner, was speaking at the Newaygo Grassroots Dinner Party […]